There is this one little thing about your first-place Dodgers that probably should be noted. They are 12-8 overall -- or 7-1 against the woeful Arizona Diamondbacks and 5-7 against everyone else.
Could they be a team whose first-place status has been built upon a favorable early schedule?
They looked plenty beatable Monday in losing 7-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies before an announced Dodger Stadium crowd of 37,715.
Of course, Cliff Lee had a little something to do with that. Lee, 35, looked a lot more like a former Cy Young winner and a lot less like someone supposedly on the downside of his career.
Aided by a four-RBI night from battery mate Carlos Ruiz, Lee was masterful in his eight innings, holding the Dodgers to four hits, most all of which came early. After Matt Kemp singled to lead off the second, Lee retired the next 20 consecutive Dodgers.
Not up to the Lee challenge was Dodgers' left-hander Paul Maholm, who gave up a pair of first-inning runs, a two-run homer to Ryan Howard in the fifth, and then for a little final indignation, threw a simple comebacker over the head of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to allow a fifth run home.
Worse, he did not eat up innings to give a worn down bullpen a break. Maholm (0-2) lasted just five innings, and needed 107 pitches to manage that. He allowed the five runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks; he struck out two.
The Dodgers' only threat against Lee and the 9-10 Phillies came in the first when Yasiel Puig led off with a single, and two outs later, Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 16 games with infield hit up the middle.
But Puig rounded third like he thought the ball would get through and second baseman Chase Utley fired home, where Ruiz easily caught him in a rundown.
Lee, who entered the game with a career 0.83 WHIP against the Dodgers – best in major-league history – then went to work. He did not allow another hit after Kemp's leadoff single in the second until Tim Federowicz singled with two outs in the eighth.
In his eight innings, Lee (3-2) struck out 10 and did not walk a batter.
Ruiz, who started the night without an RBI, had a two-run double in the first and a two-run homer against Jose Dominguez, just called up before the game, in the ninth.